Brawner: Hope for a bipartisan healthcare patch
- Author: Joanne Flowers Aug 05, 2017,
Aug 05, 2017, 23:45
It is unclear, as the August 16 deadline for insurers to set rates for 2018 nears, if Congress and the administration will commit to providing the billions of dollars in cost-sharing reduction payments that help offset low-income consumers' out-of-pocket costs under the ACA's individual market.
Republican leaders have failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, they are behind schedule on tax reform and they haven't even broached plans to boost the nation's infrastructure - three of their top legislative priorities.
Republicans, who have held the House, Senate and White House for more than six months, left for an August vacation with no major legislation to show, just as President Donald Trump - at his New Jersey golf club for 17-days - is obsessed with the Russian Federation collusion probe that is functioning so efficiently in the swamp that a grand jury is issuing subpoenas.
The insurance industry and lawmakers of both parties say blocking the money would prompt insurers to boost premiums for people buying individual policies and might induce companies to abandon some markets.
Into the fray has stepped Sen. "He is going to bring such an air of calm", said Senator David Perdue, a Republican and early supporter of Trump's election campaign. Patty Murray of Washington, are discussing a bill that could achieve that objective. We can expect Republicans to make hay of the fact that, had any of them switched their vote, the mandate would probably be dead.
But it's unclear a bipartisan deal can be reach, and Republicans are divided.
Whether or not Republicans can pass a tax bill - and whether or not their voters will forgive them for not passing a health care bill - are two questions that will hang over the GOP majority for the rest of 2017.
In addition to the White House, the political network associated with the billionaire brothers Charles Koch and David Koch has is trying to prod the vulnerable Democrats to join the Republicans. The Democrats have fooled the people long enough.
"I'm not sure we're going to get everyone ready for a mammoth fight for single payer in 2018", Raskin said. Chris Coons (D-DE) told reporters last week. As Newsweek reported last week: "More folks disapproved than approved of Trump in OH (48 disapproval-47 approval), Pennsylvania (52-43), Wisconsin (52-43)". Conservatives are reluctant to continue payments to help sustain a law the GOP has pledged for years to toss out.
Republicans are hopeful that a tax bill will be an easier lift than health care, and lawmakers say the pressure to deliver tax legislation has intensified after failing on long-promised health care legislation. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. "I don't know if I want to prop it up".
"I'm very upset with Sen". These subsidies assist to lower the out-of-pocket costs for policy holders earning low incomes.
The government could also shut down this fall if Congress does not pass the annual spending bills known as appropriations.
Even the small number of federal program terminations proposed by the Trump administration were too much for congressional Republicans.
The senator also urged Trump to temporarily keep making the cost-sharing payments so Congress could work on stabilizing the individual market for 2018.
"I think there are a whole bunch that would do it", Raskin said of House Republicans who may work with Democrats on healthcare. It's unclear what Alexander or other Republicans are willing to accept. "We've got some things to tidy up and take care of in September", Sen. "The problem that we've had in the past is that we just focused on social issues, right?"
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said the Senate health committee will hold bipartisan health care hearings on how to fix the individual market.
Gephardt said that the "most important" goal of reform was to "stimulate the growth of our economy" by having "greater efficiency" in the tax code.
Alexander said Wednesday that he has kept McConnell apprised of his effort. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said in an interview.
The remaining 56 percent was divided between Senate Democrats, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and Republican Sens. The administration has shown little appetite to take on the most expensive and distorting tax breaks: those for mortgage interest and employer-provided health insurance, and, for corporations, a deduction for debt interest.